Warnings: AU, Language, Yaoi, Lemon, Angst (eventually)
Pairings: This part 3+4
Rating: This part PG-14
Author: Aya

Destination + Part One

-Duo- Benson Hurst, Brooklyn.

Duo Maxwell was a lot of things. Strong, intelligent, sneaky, mischievous, beautiful.. The list of adjectives could go on and on. However the melancholy look that was imprinted on his heart shaped face seemed to cancel out any description his friends might have pinned to him. The sad look seemed completely out of place in those normally shining violet eyes.

"Goddammit." He swore softly, then immediately crossed himself brows drawing together in shame. He had used the Lord's name in vain in a chapel. Sheesh. How low can you get?

The slender teenager sighed heavily and slouched in the small pew, staring silently into the flickering flames that danced on the candles. For a hospital chapel, it was pretty big. Especially a public hospital. He ignored anyone who entered and tried not to cringe at the startled looks that he was receiving. He hated that people automatically assumed he was a thug. He wasn't. He didn't do drugs, he wasn't in a gang and he only fought to defend himself. Sure he stole sometimes but that was only so that he could survive, even the kid who called himself Shinigami had to eat. Sure he hustled people in the streets.. But that was only to get money. Even a streetwise teen like himself needed money; he couldn't just live on his wits could he? Sure he had dropped out of high school freshman year - aw hell.. Who was he kidding? He was a thug.

Oversized jeans hung off of his narrow hips, hinting at the top of his gray and white Calvin Klein boxers. A tight black tank top covered his broad chest, showing off his slender but well muscled arms and the tattoo on his left shoulder that read in gothic script "Solo". Yea, people these days thought anyone who dressed like him was a thug. That was the title that many young guys in "Generation X" got, even if they didn't deserve it.

Almost without realizing he was doing it, Duo pulled out a crumpled pack of Marlboros and stuck one between his lips. Just as he was about to light up a soft female voice interrupted him.

"You can't smoke in here Mr. Maxwell."

Duo turned around and flushed a little. The night nurse Sylvia was standing in the doorway of the chapel. Her long blonde hair was pulled back in a tight pony tail, blue eyes sympathetic as she caught sight of his drawn pale face. She was pretty; he probably would have made a move on her if it were any other time. "Damn, I'm sorry. I don't know what I'm thinking about." He muttered, shoving the cigarette back in the pack.

"It's all right, believe it or not that happens a lot." She said with a gentle smile. She walked in farther and sat next to him, staring into the flames. "I like it here, gives me a sense of peace after a patient passes away." She said softly.

Duo said nothing and shifted uncomfortably. He really wanted to be alone right now. He was not up for chitchat, even if it was with the cute nurse. "How do you know my name anyway?"

Sylvia rolled her eyes and smoothed creases out of her white skirt. "Oh please. You have been visiting Mr. Winner every day for the past few weeks. It's my business to know the names of his visitors."

Duo grunted and crossed his arms over his chest. "Why? Because his father is a rich bastard or because he is a patient?"

Her brow wrinkled. "I care about all of my patients no matter who their fathers are."

"Yeah well it wouldn't matter anymore anyway since they disowned him." Duo muttered under his breath. He saw her shocked questioning gaze and nodded to confirm her obvious suspicions. "Yeah, apparently it's wrong to be a homosexual.. Especially a sick one. Even if he is their son." He said bitterly.

She pursed her lips together, nervously tucking strands of long hair behind her ears. "That's dreadful. I will never understand how parents can be so cruel to their children." She was silent for a moment before asking her next question. "Is that why Mr. Barton is paying for his medical bills?"

Duo smiled at the mention of his other best friend. "Yeah, that's why. He loves Quatre and they were planning to get married and everything.. but now.. Who knows." His smile faded, and he scowled at the wall.

"If he takes care of himself, he may have a lot of time left." Sylvia said optimistically.

Duo shrugged. "Yeah.. Anyway is he awake yet?"

She nodded and smiled. "Yes, that is what I came to tell you. He asked for you."

The longhaired teen got to his feet and offered her a smile. "Thanks Sylvia.." He kissed her on the cheek and she blushed furiously. With a wink, Duo disappeared out of the chapel, leaving the flustered nurse behind.

As he sauntered down the halls of the hospitals with fake confidence, Duo avoided looking directly into anyone's eyes.. Afraid that someone would see through the facade and know how scared he really was. However when he entered room 404 and saw Quatre's frighteningly thin form lying in the bed.. His mask melted away. "Shit." He hissed softly.

The blond boy looked up and smiled brilliantly, not seemingly affected by his frail body. "Hi Duo! I was wondering when you were going to get here."

Duo slouched down into the reclining chair by the window and peered uneasily at his friend's thin face. "You look like shit," he blurted out.

Quatre frowned at him. "Gee thanks buddy. That makes me feel so much better."

Duo flushed a little and toyed with the chain that hung from his jeans. "Sorry man, but you're so damn skinny! Did you lose weight or something?"

The smaller boy glared down at the food on his plastic tray and pushed at it sullenly. "Well you know I was thin to begin with.. But with this slop they have been serving me I probably lost more. I can't believe they expect me to eat this crap."

Duo snickered in spite of himself and peered at the lima beans and over cooked chicken on his friend's tray. "Can't be that bad. I'm surprised Trowa isn't smuggling you in food anyway."

Quatre sighed and lay back against his pillow. "I wish I could get out of here.. I miss sleeping in his arms. I bet he is terribly lonely without me."

"I'll keep him company." Duo offered with a filthy grin, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Blue eyes flashed jealously. "Oh no you don't Duo Frances Maxwell. Stay away from my fiance or I will kick your ass."

"Can you leave out the Frances thing.. It kills my image. And besides you couldn't kick my ass if you tried."

Quatre rolled his eyes, then suddenly a sly look crossed his face. "I think the nurse has a crush on you. Maybe you should go put on the charm."

Duo snorted. "How about... no."

"Aw common, make a move! Enjoy your sex life while you can still get some." A small amount of bitterness crept into Quatre's expression and he looked away.

"You can still have sex Quatre..."

The blond teen shook his head. "Even if Trowa still wanted to, I wouldn't risk giving him.. what I have. I will not put him at risk of getting HIV."

"You could use condoms." Duo pointed out.

Before Quatre could respond the door opened and Trowa limped in, leaning heavily on his wooden cane. He was carrying a paper bag and grinning slightly. Quatre's cornflower blue eyes widened and he gazed at the bag in wonder. "Do I smell.. pastrami?"

The green-eyed boy smiled at his lover. "Maybe.. But who says it's for you." When Quatre's face fell, he snickered and dropped the bag on the younger boy's lap. "Just joking, eat up. Put some pounds on that skinny ass." Quatre stuck out his tongue, but immediately started scarfing down the sandwich.

Trowa sat down beside Duo. "Hey man."

Duo raised an eyebrow. "What took you so long to get here?"

The tall teenager sobered almost immediately and he looked at Quatre quickly. "Let me talk to you in the hall."

Duo's frowned, but stood up. "We'll be back Q-Man."

The blond barely looked up from his food, and nodded distractedly. When they were outside, Trowa closed the door and leaned against the wall with a sigh. He fingered the top of his cane unconsciously, green eyes narrowed. "Your uncle's church burnt down." He said flatly.

Duo's mouth dropped open and he stared in shock. "What!? Is everyone okay? How the fuck did that happen?"

Trowa dropped his eyes. "A few of the orphans didn't make it, but Sister Helen and the other nuns are okay. The priests in the rectory upstairs had been at a bingo game. The whole thing is gone now, burnt to the fucking ground."

Duo's breath caught and tears burned in the back of his eyelids. He closed his eyes tightly and took a shaky breath. His uncle's church.. gone. His uncle, Father Maxwell.. Not really his uncle but the closest thing to family Duo had ever had. The kind old priest had taken him in when he was only 8 years old, had found him living in the park at the time. As the years had passed, Duo got a tiny place of his own and moved out of the church, but when Father Maxwell had passed on two years ago.. Duo had sworn that he would take care of the church. He had failed. "Shit," he swore. "Who died?"

Trowa leaned on his cane again, wetting his lips nervously. "Chris, Rosalina, Shaquanna and Richard."

"Fuck!" Duo shouted, punching the wall. Tears slid down his cheeks and he pressed his face against the wall. All of them had been just twelve years old, good kids.. best friends. He took a deep shaky breath to calm himself as Trowa waited patiently. "How did it start?" He asked again.

"The cops aren't sure.. but they think it was arson. Was probably those punk bitch wanna be thugs who are always hounding Helen. You know? The ones who had tried to rape her a few months ago." Duo nodded his eyes narrowing. "Yeah I know." Sister Helen was young and very pretty, and unfortunately she had attracted the attention of the neighborhood thugs. After turning down their advances several times they had tried to rape her, and when she pressed charges they had sworn to get revenge. This was probably it. "Why didn't the damn police arrest them?" He demanded angrily, violet eyes flashing with several different emotions.

Trowa snorted. "Those stupid pigs can't do anything right. They'll probably let them get away with it."

Duo slid to the floor and dropped his head in his hands. "I am so sick of Brooklyn. Sick of this whole goddamn city!"

"Then get out of it." Came the soft reply.

Duo looked up, confused. "What?"

Trowa stared at his friend intently. "Look around you Duo, where we live is just a fucking hellhole that is full of crime. Fires, drugs, murder, rape.. It'll never change. Quatre got HIV from a dirty needle; it's a damn shame that it took him getting infected to stop using drugs. I got shot by a stray bullet from a gang fight and will be using this damn cane for life and Solo.. Solo is dead. Pushed in front of a fucking train because he wouldn't give a couple of muggers his gold chain. Damnit Duo you are the only one who has been untouched so far but your luck will run out. Get out while you can. Make something of yourself! It's sure as hell not going to happen as long as you stay here with all of these bad memories and demons."

Duo dropped his eyes and stared at his hands, looking at the thin white scars that decorated his slender wrists. "I've tried to leave before. Just not in the way you mean." He said softly. He closed his eyes, mind replaying the scene of his beloved childhood friend screaming as the train hit him. "I've wanted to leave for so long.. People usually come to New York to start over.. But damn it if I stay I'll never even be able to begin a decent life." He admitted. Trowa sighed. "Think about it Duo." Then he limped back into the room, returning to his lover.

+

It was raining heavily by the time Duo got back to his tiny apartment. He sat in the windowsill watching the lights of the city below him, long braid trailing down his back nearly touching the floor. Memories were coming back to him full force, and the pain that came along with them was hitting him like an avalanche.

//Damnit Duo you are the only one who has been untouched so far but your luck will run out. Get out while you can. //

He closed his eyes tightly, trying to block out the memories that were flashing through his mind like a movie, with Trowa's voice as the narrator.

//Get out while you can!//

"Damnit!" Duo jumped to his feet and began pacing back and forth, eyes finally resting on the framed picture of him and Solo. He stopped in front of the picture and stared at it, caressing the face of the boy who would now be 19 if he had lived. "It's been two years since they took you from me Solo.. And it still hurts like hell." He whispered as Solo's brilliant blue eyes stared up at him from the picture.

//Get out while you can!//

Duo closed his eyes and released the picture. He walked over to his closet and yanked out his well-worn duffle bag, shoving his clothes in it at a rapid pace. If he didn't leave now while he had the nerve.. Duo knew he would never do it. It only took him twenty minutes to pack everything that meant something to him in the medium sized bag and he spent another ten minutes writing an email to Trowa on his laptop, telling him that he was going away.. far away.. Even though he wasn't sure what his destination was yet. He promised to keep in touch and told him not to worry.

Duo only panicked once, when he grabbed the keys to his `65 Charger and started for the door. Suddenly he wasn't at all sure of what he was doing and he had the urge to just unpack and give up the impulse to escape Brooklyn New York. But then when Solo's face flashed in his mind and the faces of his friends and those poor orphans... his resolve hardened and he closed the door. Heading out.. and not planning on coming back.

+

AN - Hmm.. well that might be the last you see of Quatre and Trowa for awhile. And no I'm not saying NYC is some bad crime filled place where everyone dies, because I live here and I know it's not like that. It just is in the fic. ^^; Next part - Heero's Story.

[part 2] [back to Aya's fic]